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Law Of The Sea Convention

Volume 169: debated on Tuesday 13 March 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the United Kingdom to sign the third United Nations conference on the law of the sea treaty; and what reasons the Government have for delaying their signature.

The United Kingdom has not signed the United Nations law of the sea convention because the deep sea bed mining regime for which it provides is unacceptable to us. Nevertheless, we participate in the preparatory commission in the hope that within the long period before mining can start a regime acceptable to all can be achieved. We see many of the other parts of UNLOSC as valuable and as reflecting current state practice.